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Kamanita And Vasitthi
[By KARL GJELLERUP]THE DUSK OF THE WORLDS
THERE CAME A DAY when a feeling of discomfort,
the consciousness of a void, arose in Kāmanīta.And involuntarily his thoughts turned to the Hun‐
dred‐thousandfold Brahmā as the source of all fullness.
But the feeling of lack was not removed by that. On the
contrary, it increased almost perceptibly with the passing
of the years, from one decade of thousands to another.
For from that newly arisen feeling the tranquil
stream of time, which had hitherto flowed imperceptibly
by, encountered resistance as from an island suddenly
risen in its midst, on whose rocky cliffs it began to break
in foam as it flowed past. And at once there arose a 'be‐
fore' and an 'after' the rapids.
And it seemed to Kāmanīta as though the Hundred‐
thousandfold Brahmā did not now shine quite as brightly
After he had observed the Brahmā, however, for
five millions of years, it seemed to Kāmanīta as though he
had now observed him for a long time without reaching
And he turned his attention to Vāsitthī.
Upon which he became aware that she also was
observing the Brahmā attentively.
Which filled him with dismay; with dismay came
feeling; with feeling came thought; with thought, the
speech for its utterance.
And he spoke:
"Vāsitthī, do you also see it? What is happening to
the Hundred‐thousandfold Brahmā?"
After a hundred‐thousand years, Vāsitthī answered:
"What is happening to the Hundred‐thousandfold
Brahmā is that his brightness is diminishing."
"It seems so to me also," said Kāmanīta, after the
passage of a similar period of time. "True, that can only be
a passing phenomenon. And yet I must confess that I am
astonished at the possibility of any change whatsoever in
the Hundred‐thousandfold Brahmā."After a considerable time — after several millions
of years — Kāmanīta spoke again:
"I do not know if I am not perhaps dazzled by the
light. Do you, Vāsitthī, notice that the brightness of the
Hundred‐thousandfold Brahmā is increasing again?"
After five‐hundred‐thousand years, Vāsitthī ans‐
wered: "The brightness of the Hundred‐thousandfold
Brahmā does not increase, but steadily decreases."
As a piece of iron that, taken white‐hot from the
blacksmith's fire, very soon after becomes red‐hot, so the
brightness of the Hundred‐thousandfold Brahmā had now
taken on a red shimmer.
"I wonder what that may signify..."
"That signifies, my friend, that the brightness of the
Hundred‐thousandfold Brahmā is in the process of being
"Impossible, Vāsitthī, impossible! What would then
become of all the brightness and the splendour of this
whole brahmā world?"
"He had that in mind when He said:
"'Upward to heaven's sublimest light, life presses —
Know, that the future will even quench the glow of
After the short space of but a few thousand years
came Kāmanīta's anxious and breathless question:
"Who ever uttered that terrible world‐crushing
"Who other than He, the Master, the Knower of the
Worlds, the Blessèd One — the Buddha."Then Kāmanīta became thoughtful. For a consider‐
able length of time he pondered upon these words, and
recalled many things. Then he spoke:
"Once already, Vāsitthī, in Sukhavatī, in the Para‐
dise of the West, you repeated a saying of the Buddha
which was fulfilled before our eyes. And I remember that
you then faithfully reported to me a whole discourse of
the Master's in which that saying occurred. This world‐
crushing utterance was not, however, contained in it. So
have you then, Vāsitthī, heard yet other words of the
"Many, my friend, for I saw him daily for more than
half a year; yes, I even heard the last words he uttered."
Kāmanīta gazed upon her with wonder and rever‐
ence. Then he said:
"Then, because of that, I believe you must be the
wisest being in the whole brahmā‐world. For all these
star‐gods round about us are aghast; they shine with a
wavering light; they flicker and blink and even the Hun‐
dred‐thousandfold Brahmā himself has become restless,
and from his dulled radiance from time to time there dart
forth what seem to me to be flashes of anger. But you give
a steady light like a lamp in a sheltered spot. And it is also
a sign of disturbance that the movement of these heavenly
bodies has now become audible — we now hear on all
sides the thundering crashes and mighty groans which are
proceeding from this brahmā‐world, like the distant ringing
of great bells which once reached us on the shores of
the Heavenly Gangā, far from here in Paradise. This all
indicates that the harmony of motion is disturbed, that dis‐
union and separation of the world‐forces is taking place.
For it has been well said that — 'Where want is, there
noise is; but abundance is tranquil.' And so I do not doubt
that you are right."Please, belovèd Vāsitthī, while round about us this
brahmā‐world expires and becomes a prey to destruction,
relate to me your memories of the Buddha, so that I may
become as calm and bright as you are. Tell me all of your
last human life, for it may well be that we are united for
the last time in a place where it will be possible for spirit
to commune with spirit and tell of things that have hap‐
pened — and it still remains a mystery how Angulimāla
appeared in Ujjenī, although his becoming a monk has
been fully explained to me. But his appearance at that time
gave the impulse for my going forth into the homeless life,
and was the reason why I did not take to downward paths
but instead rose again in the Paradise of the West — there
to climb by your help to this highest of heavens, where
throughout immeasurable ages we have enjoyed the lives
of gods. I have an idea, however, that the impulse which
led to my becoming a seeker came from you. I would like
to learn the truth about this; but also, and before every‐
thing else, how did it come about that you, for my benefit,
entered again into existence in the Paradise of the West
and not in some far higher place of bliss?"And while from one hundred thousand years to
another, the growing dimness of the brahmā‐light became
ever more apparent and the gods of the stars grew ever
While these flickered and spluttered with more and
more irregularity, and from the duller‐growing circle of fire
around the Great Brahmā vast fingers of flame shot forth
and swept hither and thither throughout the whole of
space, as if the God with a hundred giant arms were seek‐
ing the invisible foe who was besetting him;
While, owing to the disturbed movements of the
heavenly bodies, stellar whirlwinds arose which rent
whole systems of suns out of the kingdom of the Brahmā
and into their places rushed waves of darkness from the
mighty void, as the sea dashes in where a ship has sprung
And while, at other points, systems crashed into
one another and a universal conflagration broke out, with
explosions which hurled sheaves of shooting‐stars down
into the fiery throat of the Brahmā;
While the death‐rattle of the music of the spheres
was heard and felt all around — and the thunder of the
harmonies as they broke down and crashed into one
another rolled and re‐echoed with ever‐increasing fearful‐
ness from one quarter of the heavens to another —
Vāsitthī, untroubled, and speaking in measured tones,
related to Kāmanīta the last of her earthly experiences.
***********to be continued************
Edited by yawares
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I just, really appreciate this. Thank you.
A seed sleeps in soil.
It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.
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Son wrote:I just, really appreciate this. Thank you.
Thank you very much for reading my favorite love story!
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